Social Media Meltdown – Is it all Bad?

I wrote a couple of months ago about improving the customer experience and specifically referenced an example where a company, or in this case a restaurant’s owners,  imploded very publicly.

As the dust settles on what was quite a torrid time in the owners lives, today we try to find out how the restaurant is doing and whether it has it been affected quite as badly as expected.

Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro

Back in May, the two owners of the bistro created a bit of a sh*t-storm when they tried to quell unruly commenters on their Facebook fan page. They had been projected, somewhat, into the limelight after appearing on a cookery program in which they appeared “difficult” to work with.

To cut a long story short the owners, Sam & Amy, took to defending themselves against nasty comments. As they responded they got nastier responses and it ended up almost in a slagging match.

Claims from either sides to the authenticity of it all are open to question but the fact remains that, for the time being at least, they are still in business.

Now & Then

They have their own website set up but there is very little public historical analytical data available (that I could find). Looking at their Facebook stats though is quite interesting.

The screenshot above, taken from the original buzzfeed article in mid May, shows their “likes”, “talking about” and the number of Facebook users that had actually been to their restaurant.


Fast forward to August and there are still people talking about them and visits have grown considerable. I know likes don’t mean squat but they have risen dramatically. Presumably people are liking but not reading what is being written on their pages or on Yelp 🙂

No Such Thing As Bad Publicity?

So despite being a Kitchen Nightmare, going off the handle with their Facebook following and being accused of writing their own reviews they still seem to be going strong. So is bad press all bad?

When doing research for this post I found some interesting analogies. For example the phrase finder gave this take on it:

For someone seeking notoriety and a somewhat scandalous reputation, such as Paris Hilton in this day and age, this may be true. But consider BP or Toyota – they might not agree. listed some high profile public figures who have mostly survived various backlashes but I agree with their statement:

There is such a thing as bad publicity, but most negative attention can be managed by someone who knows how.

Of course, that site does provide a service to help you with a damaged reputation but you can start to help yourself before you get into trouble – simply by thinking before you post.

Here is a link to a great article on Forbes that highlights what went wrong. 6 things you should never do on Social Media – the key one here for me is “don’t feed the trolls”!

What are your thoughts on this – how do you manage reputation online and avoid the Social Media meltdown?

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